Contract farming and commercialization of agriculture in developing countries | Land Portal

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Date of publication: 
January 1994
ISBN / Resource ID: 
10 pages
Copyright details: 
IFPRI adheres to the basic tenets of the Budapest Open Access Initiative, articulated in 2002 (subject to any applicable third-party rights and or confidentiality obigations). All applicable data are subject to IFPRI’s Institutional Review Board (IRB) guidelines. Copyright © 2013 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI). All rights reserved.

The distributional benefits of commercialization of agriculture, access to commercialization opportunities, and sharing of commercialization risks are functions of institutional arrangements. Obviously, the indirect food security and nutritional effects are, thereby, partly a function of such institutional arrangements. This chapter explores the relevance to food security of one form of contractual relationship in agriculture: formal contracts between producers and buyers (generally processors or exporters), a production and marketing system known as contract farming. The chapter does not refer to the extensive literature on informal contractual relations, such as sharecropping, or on traditional systems of contract farming, such as the extensive "strange farmer" system in West Africa's groundnut sector. The chapter draws generalizations and conclusion from studies done by the author and by other researchers. The latter include two research networks initiated by the author. One network surveyed the experience with contract farming in several East and Southern African countries (Eastern Africa Economic Review 1989); the second examined the experience in Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines (Glover and Lim, forthcoming).

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The International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) provides research-based policy solutions to sustainably reduce poverty and end hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. Established in 1975, IFPRI currently has more than 500 employees working in over 50 countries. It is a research center of theCGIAR Consortium, a worldwide partnership engaged in agricultural research for development.